January 26, 2016 NABARRO LLP
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"Die Frauenquote" – And other routes to Board diversity, 26 January 2016

The Challenge – gender diversity at the top of UK and German companies

In both the UK and Germany Board diversity is a topic which is prominent on the political and business agenda. Greater gender diversity at Board and executive level is recognised to be a critical step forward.  And yet progress is hesitant.

One of the key themes is: Quota or no Quota? Different routes have been adopted by Germany and the UK and our panel of experienced Board Directors from both countries compared and contrasted respective approaches. Our goal was to identify and explore measures that will indeed move the dial on this important challenge for Boardrooms and corporates globally.

The Discussion

Fidelio Partners, the German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce and the German British Forum hosted the Seminar and Panel Discussion of senior speakers on Tuesday 26th January 2016.

Our keynote speaker was Lady Barbara Judge, the first female Chairman of the Institute of Directors, and a highly experienced senior executive, Chair and Non-Executive Director on an international basis.

The Programme also included an interview with Edelgard Bulmahn, Vice-President of the German Bundestag and former Federal Minister for Education and Research.

Our subsequent panel discussion drew upon the views of panellists with extensive international experience of leadership teams and Boards, in particular in the UK and Germany.

Panellists included:

  • Carl-Peter Forster – Member of the Board of Volvo Cars Corporation, Gothenburg and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., Hong Kong as well as Chairman of London Taxi Company; various other Board Memberships, e.g. IMI Plc., Birmingham; Rexam Plc, London; The Mobility House, Zurich; Cosworth Ltd.; Chairman of the Board of Lead Equities AG, Vienna; former Chairman of ZMDi AG; former CEO of TATA Motors and former Group VP and Regional President of GM Europe, as well as holding several senior executive roles with BMW AG
  • Dr. Marion Helmes – Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of ProSiebenSat 1; Non-Executive Director of NXP Semiconductors; former CEO and CFO of Celesio AG
  • Elisabeth Stheeman – Supervisory Board Member of Aareal Bank AG; Supervisory Board Member of TLG Immobilien AG;  Senior Advisor, Bank of England/ Prudential Regulation Authority; former Global COO Lasalle Investment Management
  • Daniela Weber–Rey – Chief Governance Officer and Deputy Global Head of Compliance with Deutsche Bank AG; and former partner and Member of the Partnership Council of Clifford Chance (Frankfurt)

The discussion was held at Nabarro LLP.

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